SEVERAL CONVERSATIONS I’VE HAD RECENTLY have been about the lenses through which human beings see things, how we filter information given and received. People hear the same piece of information in sometimes utterly different ways. Preachers and teachers beware. This isn’t news for the retail industry of course, but the Church (our parish as well as nationally) has still a great deal to learn in this area. What’s good for the goose is sometimes decidedly bad for the gander.

The Fresh Expressions initiative is attempting to respond to this process of filtering and is having obvious and well documented successes. But for some, even the name of the initiative is a non-starter. Somehow we have to keep trying to bring out of the treasure chest something good, both old and new. What kind of lens, what kind of filter or perspective might be a uniting starting point for any Christian engaged in such an exercise? The speaker at our Church Council meeting last night (thinking about a possible link with an African diocese) provided us with as good an (ever new) starting point as any I can think of:

“though we are many we are one body, for we all share in one bread”.

I hope we’ll make some links with Christians outside the range of our usual experience. I know we’ll grow if we can.